admin - July 15, 2013
Country singer Randy Travis was hospitalized on July 7 with viral cardiomyopathy – a weakening of the heart muscles caused by a viral infection.
His initial hospitalization involved congestive heart failure due to a viral illness. However, on the night of Wednesday, July 10, Travis suffered a stroke. Doctors at the Heart Hospital Baylor Plano performed an immediate surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain.
The 54-year-old singer had been heavily sedated and in critical condition up until July 15. Currently, Travis is awake and alert, but he remains on a ventilator and on intravenous medication for his heart. Good news is that his heart is pumping without help from any machines and scans are showing decreased swelling in his brain.
According to USA Today and the American Heart Association, oftentimes there are few to no signs and symptoms of this cardiovascular condition suffered by the country singer. For some people, the disease develops quickly and can cause severe, serious complications. Common symptoms associated with cardiomyopathy include:
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen and veins in the neck
- Fainting during physical activity
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
- Chest pain
- Heart murmurs
“If a person has a cardiomyopathy, I tell them to stop drinking alcohol completely, make sure they have a healthy diet, avoid taking any herbal supplements, avoid intense exercise and do more low to moderate exercise and get plenty of rest,” said Cardiologist Gina Lundberg, an assistant professor at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, in a USA Today article. “Many people will recover from this, but some never do, so they may need to be considered for a heart transplant.”
Proper treatment of the condition can help to control symptoms, reduce complications and prevent the disease from progressing. Other than healthy lifestyle changes, treatment can include medicine, surgery, implanted devices to correct irregular heartbeats and other nonsurgical treatments.
While not all heart conditions are preventable, many signs of heart disease and stroke can be caught early through preventive health screenings that identify any risk prior to the occurrence of life-altering complications. By checking for things like high cholesterol, elevated C-reactive protein, peripheral arterial disease, high glucose and high blood pressure, overall risk for heart disease can be assessed early so preventive treatment can be implemented before something catastrophic, like heart failure or stroke, happens.
Learn more about how preventive health screenings from Life Line Screening may benefit you.